Microsoft's new Xbox One console is set to debut in November and battle Sony's PlayStation 4 in a fresh round of console wars. The Xbox One includes Kinect in the box, and some entertainment features that take over live TV. Here's everything you need to know about the hardware, updates to Xbox Live, SmartGlass, latest games, and Microsoft's plans for the living room.
Nov 21, 2013
The Xbox One is nearly here, and the team at iFixit have already gotten their hands on one and have completed their deconstruction to reveal everything that's inside of it. It should be no surprise that the Xbox's inside looks a little bit like a PC: a big green motherboard, a Blu-ray drive housed in gray metal, and even a standard 2.5-inch SATA II hard drive — which theoretically makes it replaceable, though you'd certainly be voiding your warranty in the process.Read Article >
If you're curious as to why the Xbox One is so much bigger than the PlayStation 4 when both machines are using the same processor, the first place to look is its fan. While the PlayStation's fan doesn't appear particularly big at 85 millimeters in diameter, the Xbox's is huge by comparison at 112 millimeters, taking up a good quarter of what's inside the console when looking from the top down. iFixit notes it is easily separated from the heat sink, making it relatively easy to replace.
Microsoft didn't mean to take over your living room. When it launched in 2005, the Xbox 360 was just a device for games — "the Holy Grail of gaming," in the immortal words of MTV's Sway. It would show your pictures if you plugged in a thumb drive, but it was designed to be the best way ever for gamers to play.Read Article >
Slowly but surely, the emphasis changed. The 360 kept getting more and better games, but it also got Netflix, and Hulu Plus, and HBO Go. In 2008, Microsoft even overhauled the Xbox interface — turning it from the old side-scrolling "blades" interface into something that looked more like the Zune and Windows Media Center, and more recently into something that looks a lot like Windows 8. Media apps became more popular on the 360 than multiplayer gaming, and Microsoft began talking about how “Xbox” didn’t just mean games anymore.
Nov 19, 2013
Sony's PlayStation 4 can already stream gameplay to viewers around the world over Twitch, but the Xbox One won't be offering similar functionality until sometime after launch. In a statement published today on Xbox Wire, the company said, "We know the ability to instantly broadcast gameplay is something the gaming community is excited about, and we are too." But apparently it's not something that will be ready come Friday. "We are working to ensure the initial Twitch on Xbox One broadcasting experience meets the expectations of the Twitch community, so while this feature won't be available right away, we'll let you know as soon as it is ready," Microsoft says. It's now aiming to launch Twitch streaming "in the first part of 2014," but the company doesn't get more specific than that.Read Article >
Like Sony's implementation, Microsoft will let users both broadcast gameplay and provide live voice commentary to interact with viewers. But Microsoft is reserving Twitch live streaming for paid Xbox Live Gold customers, whereas Sony makes the functionality available to everyone. In the interim, gamers will be able to watch other, non-Xbox One Twitch feeds with an official app that will be available as a free download on November 22nd. You'll even be able to watch a Twitch stream while playing another game with the console's Snap feature; achievements will be awarded to those who spend the most time watching.
Microsoft's been fairly cagey with the Xbox One dashboard experience up until now, but I got the chance to play with the system while I was in Redmond working on our look at the new Xbox's platform and TV integration. And I was allowed to go deep: platform engineering manager Jeff Henshaw let me log into the system using my personal gamertag, personalize the system, and basically do whatever I wanted. Logging in was ridiculously impressive: the Kinect instantly recognized me and dropped me into my dashboard without any delay. It's both intensely cool and somewhat terrifying; the Xbox One identifies you by your skeleton, and can even see you in pitch black darkness. I could have done this entire demo in the dark, according to Kinect development manager Kareem Choudhry.Read Article >
Nov 8, 2013Read Article >
If you just can't wait until November 22nd to get your hands on an Xbox One, there's good news — Microsoft is bringing the console to its retail stores for some early play time. A playable Xbox One will be featured in more than 75 stores across Canada and the US, though unfortunately you'll only be able to check out one game: Forza Motorsport 5. The promotion starts now and will be going on each day leading up until the console's launch, giving you plenty of time to go hands-on with the new controller and its vibrating triggers. If you want to compare the two upcoming next generation game consoles, Sony also has PlayStation 4 demo kiosks available at select Sony Stores in the US.
So he spoke, and the minstrel, moved by the god, began and let his song be heard, taking up the tale where the Argives had embarked on their benched ships and were sailing away after casting fire on their huts, while those others led by glorious Odysseus were now sitting in the place of assembly of the Trojans, hidden in the horse; for the Trojans had themselves dragged it to the citadel.
— The OdysseyRead Article >
For as long as the Xbox has existed, it has been called a Trojan horse.
Nov 8, 2013
Yesterday Sony announced what entertainment-centric apps would be featured on the PlayStation 4 at launch, and now it's time for the Xbox One to get the same treatment. Microsoft has detailed the different TV, video service, and streaming apps that will be available on the console for each of the 13 markets it will be launching in.Read Article >
In the US, the lineup of 19 apps will look awfully familiar to Xbox 360 owners — but while Sony has specified that all of its apps will be available at launch, Microsoft is less clear, stating that this "first wave" will be rolling out between the One's launch on November 22nd and spring of next year (HBO Go in particular is called out as "coming soon"). One obvious omission is the lack of a dedicated YouTube app on the Xbox One and PS4. While Microsoft has battled to provide YouTube on Windows Phone, it currently offers a YouTube app for the Xbox 360. Microsoft tells us that YouTube will work in Internet Explorer on Xbox One, but it's still surprising not to see a dedicated app on each next-generation console.
Sep 28, 2013
If you're a console gamer, you've got a tough choice ahead of you as both the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One are going on sale this November. Choosing which next-gen system to buy is no easy task — even for long time gaming diehards. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft wants you to buy its new hardware instead of a PS4, which is why the company is going to hit the road for its "One Tour." The road trip kicks off on October 1st and runs through the end of the year, allowing people to try Xbox One for themselves at each stop.Read Article >
Sep 26, 2013
After fitness games proved to be a huge draw for Kinect on Xbox 360, Microsoft is taking the workout game into its own hands with Xbox One. For its next-gen console, the company plans to offer a service called Xbox Fitness, a built-in personal trainer that promises to detect micro-fluctuations in a user's heart rate, form, and more. It does all of this using the Xbox One's Kinect sensor, according to a page that briefly appeared publicly on Xbox.com.Read Article >
Microsoft is recruiting top talent for its fitness program: Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser and Tony Horton of P90X fame are among the experts that will guide you through workouts and provide real-time feedback on progress. Xbox Live Gold subscribers will have unlimited access to Xbox Fitness from the launch of Xbox One through December 2014. After that, the service will convert to a premium, standalone subscription for all Xbox customers. Microsoft has yet to make any mention of Xbox Fitness, but with the cat now firmly out of the bag, we may be hearing more very soon.